The Ballad of Sir Dinadan
Squire’s Tales – Book Six
by Gerald Morris, published 2003
“More animals appeared, and then from behind Dinadan came a gentle piping sound, like the wind whistling through chinks in a wall, but the piping kept time with Dinadan’s song. Then, to Dinadan’s wonder, it began to play in counterpoint to his own melody.”
Each children’s book in the Squire’s Tales series is a re-telling of an Arthurian tale. The choice in this book surprised me, as it retells Tristam and Isolde, which I think of as quite a tragedy, and normally not for children. However, Gerald Morris makes Tristam into a tragic fool, and by underplaying the tragedy of it, makes it accessible to children through humor. It’s an interesting approach, that perhaps not everyone would agree with. However, I think it’s fair game. In addition, the lead character Dinadan is very appealing, and makes this children’s book worth reading, especially if you are a fan of rest of the series.
As with all of Gerald Morris’s books, there’s also an element of the magical worlds in this book. In this case, Sylvanus, also known as Pan, plays a delightful role. We’ll meet him, and Dinadan, again, in the later books in the series.
Some of the Squire’s Tales are suitable for younger children, but I would reserve this particular children’s book for the upper ages, 11 and older, because there’s more of an emphasis on Arthurian romance in this one.
If you’d like an easy to access synopsis of all of the books in this series, check out the Children’s Literature Network page here.